Influence Lives Beyond The Grave

My father passed away on March 8, 1996.  This past Monday it had been fourteen years.  Each year this week is always one of the most difficult weeks of my life. It is always bittersweet.  Much time has passed but his memories continue to stand out vividly in my mind.  It wasn’t until he was gone that I realized how much I depended on him.  I hope that I leave just a small fraction of the influence in the lives of my children and grandchildren that my father left with me. 

I had the privilege of baptizing my dad three years before he died.   Even though he was outside God’s fellowship during my childhood, he lived before me and my sister the principles every father wants to instill in his children.  For the things he and my mother taught me I will always be grateful.  Together they lived an example that allowed our family to grow up in the values that God wants in all of us.

There are some things that they taught to us that I wish to share with you:

  • Among my greatest memories are some things that dad often said about friendship.  The two things that stand out are these.  He said “when times got hard you still had the same friends you always had it is just that now you know who they are. ”  Dad also said, “If you have enough really good friends to fill up the fingers of your hands you are blessed indeed.”  He was so right.  In the last five years I have lost so many friends that had been special in my life.  Eventually we all realize this harsh truth.
  • Dad and Mom also taught me about integrity.  I can’t tell you the number of times that we were told growing up that when all was said and done we had to look at ourselves in the mirror and deal with who we were.  Either you liked what you saw or you despised it.  Either case was controlled by the decisions you made.
  • Dad and mom taught us about faithfulness to God.  I remember my dad did not attend worship with us when we were small but he always wanted to make sure that we were there.  Mom saw to it that we were.  I am grateful for the few years that my dad enjoyed in Christ.  I remember the last time we worshipped together.  I was preaching in Attalla Alabama.  Dad and mom visited with us and he led the closing prayer for the day.  I remember what a great job that he did.  I will always be grateful for that day.

So many things were taught to us as children.  I treasure the family history and background that my sister and I were able to enjoy.  For the influence dad continues to bring to bear in my life I am thankful. To dad and to you mom,  thanks!!   I hope that I can be bring just a portion of the influence into my children and grandchildrens lives that you brought to mine.

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3 Responses to Influence Lives Beyond The Grave

  1. christina says:

    Dell,
    I know that if you have left half as much influence on Kevin, Karla, and the grandbabies as you have left with me then you’ve done more than you’ve ever known you could do. Thanks! Christina

  2. Thanks Christina for the kind words.

  3. Don Morrison says:

    Dell,

    Our father’s have a special, God given, role for our lives. They are blessed when they fill that role and so are we for their gift into our lives. I often speculate about what life might have been like to have been born into different skin than my own. There is no other life I would rather have been given than the one God has blessed me with – no other parents than those God provided. We are very blessed.

    I hope and pray that your and my children also appreciate their heritage of faith, industry, wisdom – Christ-likeness.

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